With Do Your Job 2 and America’s Game: 2016 Patriots airing this week, the Pats Pulpit staff were able to watch an early screening of both. Here are our thoughts.
September 3rd at 7:00 PM ET on NBC - Do Your Job: Part 2 Bill Belichick and the 2016 Patriots
September 6th at 8:00 PM ET on NFLN - Do Your Job: Part 2 Bill Belichick and the 2016 Patriots AGAIN!
September 6th at 9:00 PM ET on NFLN - America’s Game: 2016 Patriots
September 6th at 10:00 PM ET on NFLN - NFL Top 10: Tom Brady Games
1. Michael McDermott
America's Game: I did think Edelman was a bit of a redundant choice, but given that he made the greatest catch in Super Bowl history, I see why. I was finally glad to see Hightower get in and showing the Super Bowl XLIX saving play. As for Blount, I do think he was a little bit underappreciated because he's an old school back that was a grinder playing in an era of committees and all these backs who can catch the ball and kill you in space. I'm definitely going to miss Blount's fun personality the most of the three.
DYJ2: This one does a better job of highlighting how the Patriots actually craft their gameplan and possible adjustments should something unusual happen. The advance scouts get more credit in this special than in the first, which was mostly the positional coaches glossing over basic game plans. In this one, they do a great job of showing how the Hightower strip sack play came to be from the coaches meetings talking about Devonta Freeman's struggles in pass pro to the play call and analysis itself. I also do like that they added snip-its from the coaches dinner, it adds a bit of humor to the show.
2. Ryan Keiran
America’s Game: Well done, but a little less exciting than DYJ2. The choices for interviews were excellent. Edelman is as charismatic as they come, Hightower finally gets his time in the spotlight, and LeGarrette Blount is one of the most fun human beings in the world. Unfortunately, my biggest takeaway from this one is how much I'm going to miss Edelman this year. :(
DYJ2: This. Was. Phenomenal. My heart was pounding nearly as much as watching it live, and it was filled with tidbits and insights (loved the two point conversion stuff) that we rarely get to see from the coaching staff. I love when these things come out because getting Bill Belichick to candidly talk football and football strategies is one of the biggest gifts Earth brings us. America's Game was extremely well done, but nothing since the Super Bowl has gotten me as excited for September 7th as Do Your Job, Part 2.
3. Rich Hill
America’s Game: I thought that this was a little more kitschy than usual. It was nice to see Edelman and Blount on the screen, but it felt like they defaulted to the players that were mic’d up as opposed to those that could tell the best story.
DYJ2: I loved the analysis of Chris Hogan’s big touchdown. McDaniels calls Amendola the “best trash receiver,” but in a good way. Dion Lewis was supposed to get game-winning score play and practiced it during the week. Brian Flores says 20 years from now is when Brady/Belichick will retire. Edward Norton was a weird voiceover choice.
4. Oliver Thomas
America’s Game: Though “America’s Game” paints with a broader brush than “Do Your Job Part 2,” Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount and Dont’a Hightower do their part to offer an on- and off-the-field look at the 2016 Patriots. Edelman’s humor is not lost in that, as he discusses the likenesses of Patriots characters in his children’s book, the “blocking” of Tom Brady, as well as how the quarterback spent his September vacation in Italy avoiding nightshades and gluten. Blount’s infectious personality is also evident, as is the way the running back's teammates gravitated toward him over the course of his three-and-a-half years in New England. And need not forget the even-keeled Hightower, who sounds exactly like an Alabama product who graduated from Nick Saban to Belichick and has two national championships to go with two Super Bowls.
DYJ2: At this point, it’s not out of the realm to think “Pink Stripes” means nothing, but is still written on Ernie Adams’ whiteboard just so you think it means something. And that only makes the Patriots’ longtime football research director a more fascinating, enigmatic figure in the periphery. Whether it’s Bill Belichick hopping on the radio to say, “What do you think, Ernie?” before throwing the challenge flag, or Adams saying, “Hey Bill, yeah if we score on this drive we’re going to want to go for two,” Adams has the answers to questions most would never think of asking. Behind the big-framed glasses and the pulled-down brim, the keen eye Adams keeps on New England’s opponents flies under the radar.
5. Brian Phillips
America’s Game: I really miss LeGarrette Blount. The guy is awesome.
DYJ2: It’s easy to see why Wide Receivers Coach Chad O'Shea has been given the responsibility of preparing the “red area” report each week for the staff. He’s a sharp mind and the kind of guy you can imagine practically living in film room. Would be very surprised if he wasn’t an NFL offensive coordinator in the future. Julio Jones is ridiculous. Running Back Coach Ivan Fears' emotional statement of gratitude toward Belichick at the coaches dinner was a powerful moment in the piece.
America’s Game: America's Game was fantastic, but Do Your Job gives a deeper, 'insider' feel that is unmatched by anything. Edelman, Blount and Hightower were terrific as story-tellers. Julian 'the squirrel' Edelman earned the honor of being a repeat. Touching that he wrote the book for his daughter, and I liked how the characters in the book were used as a theme throughout the show. It provided a nice segue from Edelman to LeGarrette Blount 'With the goat M.I.A., the Patriots relied on a battering ram.
DYJ2: Theme for this year, courtesy of Bill Belichick: "Still chasing it." Loved his aside for the Super Bowl: 'We were planning on playing from ahead. [Then a smile] Didn't work out that way.' Very telling that coaches are so detail-oriented that they also scout the officiating crews. Matt Patricia's educated gamble on calling a pass defense with pressure on Matt Ryan - when everyone else thought all the Falcons needed to do was to run the ball (sound familiar?) was genius. Getting the anticipated holding call from referee Carl Cheffers was key to forcing the Falcons to punt.
7. Matthew Rewinski
America’s Game: Shout out to whatever sharp-eyed film dude caught LeGarrette Blount running sweeps to the outside. BUT BUT BUT DAD I thought all he could do was hit the hole for -1 yards! As a senior member of Pats Pulpit, I did not realize New England didn't score in the first quarter of a Super Bowl, ever...it makes perfect sense in hindsight.